Have you ever wondered what makes carnitas different from slow cooked meat? I used to think it was the seasoning. Or just a fancy name to separate it from pulled pork. But authentic Carnitas are pieces of pork slow cooked in a kettle of lard and water, usually over an open fire. The result is tender, juicy meat with crispy edges.
So, how can we replicate this at home? With a slow cooker, of course! Cooking a pork roast until tender in the slow cooker is step one. To make the pork taste like Carnitas, we finish it off in the oven under the broiler. It is a simple second step, but one that takes the roast from ordinary to amazing. Seriously, the flavor is incredible. I couldn’t stop sneaking pieces to eat while taking photos!
Pork Carnitas are simple to make, and the perfect meat for tacos, burrito bowls, nachos, or even with eggs and salsa. You may find yourself craving these Carnitas for every meal. They are that good!
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
Active Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 8-10 hours
Total Time: 8-10 hours
4-5 Pound Pork Roast
Yellow Onion, thick sliced
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
¼ Cup Lime Juice
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
3-4 Bay Leaves
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Sea Salt
2 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. each: Chili Powder, Paprika, Oregano, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder
- In the bottom of your slow cooker, add the sliced onion, minced garlic, lime juice and ACV.
- Rub the spice rub into pork roast and place the roast in the slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until the meat is easy to shred.
- Shred the roast, and add the meat back to the slow cooker for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Prepare a baking sheet with tin foil. Using tongs, carefully transfer the hot meat to the baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Reserve the juices in the slow cooker.
- Bake the shredded meat for 20 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for about 10 minutes, or until the top of the meat is slightly charred.
- Drizzle with the remaining juices.
Serve over rice and beans, with tortillas, or use in your favorite Mexican inspired dish.
How will you eat your Carnitas? Leave a comment below.